Legally Blonde The Musical
Music & lyrics Laurence O'Keefe & Nell Benjamin Book: Heather Hach
Martin Dodd UK Productions
Grand Theatre, Blackpool
Miss one ‘American movie hit turned stage musical’ and there will always be another one along in a minim...
Or so it seems, until you come across an inventive and original show that stands blonde head and shoulders above several others. For, rather than take a movie and add a jukebox full of contemporary chart music, Legally Blonde The Musical has a fresh and imaginative score and lyrics bolted on to the novel that was first adapted for the screen in 2001, then hatched into a stage musical 10 years later.
Its popularity, on this second major UK tour, is evident when the back row of the circle lustily join in the complex rap that completes the show!
By which time, everyone else in the house has had their hearts, if not their minds, captured by a good-natured, hard-working production that is fun, fast and ridiculously colourful. The strength in depth here is apparent in the fact that understudy Rebecca Stenhouse seamlessly steps up into the lead role due to the indisposition of Lucie Jones, who it is hoped will re-join the cast midweek.
The plot revolves around the ditzy character’s determination to succeed at law school if only to win back her errant boyfriend. Of course nowadays we know that a back-combed blonde airhead could never make it to high office in America...
Even a little opening night gremlin like a half a stage curtain refusing to hang out is not going to get in the way of this juggernaut of entertainment. A big cast, augmented with soap stars Rita Simons and Bill Ward, prove their verve and versatility time and again while the story of female empowerment and integrity sits squarely with contemporary attitudes.
And if anyone has even the slightest misgivings about the "Gay or European?" diversion in the second act courtroom scene then they are taking this show far too seriously in the first place.
Legally Blonde the Musical is to be enjoyed wholeheartedly.
Reviewer: David Upton